pound, with the understanding that the trade would not be confirmed without your approval. I have acted under instructions from the Secretary of the Treasury with regard to the sale for Treasury notes at the market price. The Board of Cotton Brokers report the price of middling cotton at 75 and 80 cents. I obtained $1 in consideration of the guarantee of the commanding general that the cotton should not be molested or destroyed by his command. I would be pleased to hear from you, with such instructions as you may deem for the best interest of the Government in the disposition of cotton. If Mr. Clapp is at Meridian please say to him that it is very important for me to have an interview with him.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
HEADQUARTERS FORREST'S CAVALRY CORPS,
West Point, Miss., March 18, 1865.
Honorable JOHN C. BRECKINRIDGE,
Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:
GENERAL: I take the liberty of addressing you relative to the state of affairs in the District of Southern Kentucky, and to bring to your notice and knowledge existing evils, which can along be corrected by yourself as the chief of the War Department. It is due to myself to state that I disclaim all desire or intention to dictate. So far from it, I hesitate even now to make known the facts or to suggest the remedies to be applied. No other motive than the "good of the service" prompts me to address you. A military district was formed in Southern Kentucky, including a small portion of West Tennessee, and Bring. General A. R. Johnson assigned to the command of it. The object in creating this district was doubtless for the purpose of raising and organizing troops for our army. Its permanent occupation by any force raised within its limits was not expected or calculated upon. It is was, the sequel shows that both in raising troops or holding the territory the experiment is a complete failure. General Johnson was often reported to have from 1,200 to 1,800 men, was finally wounded and captured, and his men scattered to the four winds. Brigadier-General Lyon then succeeded him and was driven across the Tennessee River into North Alabama, with only a handful of men. Nothing has been added to our army, for while the men flock to and remain with General Johnson or General Lyon as long as they can stay in Kentucky, as soon as the enemy presses and they turn southward the men scatter, and my opinion is that they can never be brought out or organized until we send troops there in sufficient numbers to bring them out by force. So far from gaining any strength for the army, the Kentucky brigade now in my command has only about 300 men in camps (Third, Seventh, and Eighth Kentucky Regiments). They have deserted and attached themselves to the roving bands of guerrillas, jayhawkers, and plunderers who are the natural, offspring of authorities given to parties to raise troops within the enemy's lines. The authorities given to would-be colonels, and by them delegated to would-be captains and lieutenants, have created squads of men who are dodging from pillar to post, preying upon the people,, robbing them of their horses and other property, to the manifest injury of the country and our cause.
The same state of affairs exists in West Tennessee and along the Mississippi River. The country is filled with deserters and stragglers, who